You don’t have time to read, so start listening to books

It’s a familiar refrain: “I don’t have time.” It’s the sad but true consequence of how busy life can get, and it doesn’t help that reading isn’t something you can multitask. Or maybe, you can multitask… if you try listening to books during other activities. Listening to books brings with it more benefits than just the ability to multitask, including being a great way to take in those stories for people who don’t like the usual act of reading. No matter your situation, here’s what you need to know about slipping in some listening time so you have more of what you love in your life.

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Benefits of audiobooks

Switching from the page to the eardrums offers more than a few changes to the experience of taking in the written word.

Less eyestrain

Any activity that involves you staring at something up close for an extended period can cause eyestrain, but reading can be particularly hard on the eyes. Circumstances, such as the size of the print and the lighting conditions around you can be especially harsh. With an audiobook, all you need to worry about is the volume.

Time taken 

It’s hard to gauge how long it takes to read something, and you may not have all the time in the world to take something in. You could be trying to read a book before a film adaptation comes out, for example, or have to read something for a class or club. With an audiobook, you can see, to the second, how long it’s going to take you to finish. This lets you plan accordingly.

Performative prose

In today’s video-saturated world, especially one where many of the videos don’t demand your full attention, switching to attention-demanding ink on a page can be difficult. With an audiobook, you get the experience of a trained performer or even the author themselves relaying the book to you. This can not only be easier to take in, but it can potentially transform an already excellent work of art into something truly special.

When to sneak in audiobook listening time

Daily life is bursting with opportunities to listen to audiobooks, even if it’s only 15 minutes here or 20 minutes there. A couple of those sessions a day, and you’ll be taking in a book or two a month.


The best place to slip in some listening time is while you’re hard at work on menial tasks. This can include doing chores, such as cleaning or shopping, or whipping up dinner or anything else that doesn’t require much attention. That way, you can mostly focus on your audiobook while your hands do their own thing.


The travel time you usually use to listen to music or catch up on a podcast is also an excellent time to take in an audiobook. However, it’s best to listen to audiobooks when driving on well-traveled roads or long, open stretches of highway. Driving somewhere new usually requires focus that can have you rewinding your audiobook to catch what you started tuning out.


You don’t always have to slip in audiobooks. You can plop down on your couch for 30 minutes or take a long, hot bath with Sylvia Plath. Audiobooks are works of entertaining art worth taking time out for specifically, just as much as whatever’s new on Netflix.

Where to listen to audiobooks

Audiobooks have come a long way from the days of tapes and CDs. You can find them in many places, whether you want to stream or download them. Here are some of the best places to find them.


The undisputed king of audiobooks at the moment is Audible, a part of Amazon. It’s got a massive library, many exclusives and several subscription plans to best match how heavily or lightly you plan on listening.

There’s also a limited-time deal going on for four months of audible at $5.95 a month.

Common streaming services

Most music streaming services such, as Spotify and Apple Music also have audiobook arms, though these aren’t as feature- or library-rich as dedicated audiobook platforms like Audible. However, if you already have these services, you can use them to get a taste of audiobooks and, if you like it, you can move on to a better, dedicated platform.


A darkhorse audiobook option, Libby is an app that lets you use your local library membership to “borrow” audiobooks and e-books. It’s also entirely free. This is a better option for those who plan on listening to books consistently and for longer sessions since you can extend your borrowing window only so many times.

Best audiobooks of 2023 on Audible

Best "Yours Truly"

“Yours Truly”

Dr. Briana Ortiz is struggling with life, including fighting for a promotion and trying to secure a kidney transplant for her brother. Then she and a new doctor, Jacob, start bonding and Jacob even agrees to donate his kidney. Romantic comedy ensues.

Best "King A Life"

“King: A Life”

This biography of Martin Luther King Jr. is the first in decades and includes information from recently declassified FBI files. Author Jonathan Eig and narrator Dion Graham do their best to bring the history of the man to vivid life.

"Best Wellness"


Jack and Elizabeth have been together for decades, married with kids and dealing with modern romance. This fictional dive into modern marriage may seem all too real to many.

Best "None of This Is True"

“None of This Is True”

This twisting thriller sees a woman become the subject of her own true-crime podcast and has a full cast bringing all the characters to life. It even includes actual podcast episodes interspersed.

Best "The In-Between"

“The In-Between”

This true-life recollection of hospice nurse Hadley Vlahos takes a close look at how intertwined life and the end of it can be, with plenty of wisdom to be shared along the way.

Best headphones

Best Bose Headphones 700

Bose Headphones 700 

These high-end headphones deliver the best-quality sound for the audiophiles out there. It has 11 levels of noise cancellation and a microphone so you can take calls without missing a beat. The battery lasts for up to 20 hours.

Best Sony WH-CH720N Headphones

Sony WH-CH720N Headphones

These noise-canceling headphones have fantastic performance without breaking into the upper echelon of expensive models. They’re wireless with up to 35 hours of battery life and take only three minutes of charging to get an hour of listening.

Best Apple EarPods

Apple EarPods

These wired headphones are perfect for those looking to save money without sacrificing any audio quality. They come in three models with different plug types so you can get the one that matches your device needs.

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Jordan C Woika writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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